You never forget their first profanity, do you?

Flea One day, Flea is going to ask me when she first sat up, when she first crawled, when she cut her first tooth. And, friends? I am going to lie.

Because the truth is, I can't really remember and I definitely never really got around to filling in that red book.

I do remember that she did all those things some time during her first year, but I was too tired to notice the date, I just remember she pretty much did everything around the time I was told to expect by "What To Expect: The First Year".

But I think I'm going to remember Flea's first profanity with a bit more clarity.

Last Friday, I'd brought Flea home from school and she was playing with some Playmobil figures at her playtable, while I sat at the dining table with my laptop. I was messing around on Twitter and listening to her imaginary game with half an ear. "Now this one's called Tom, and this one's called John," she said to herself, as she does.

Then she said something I wasn't expecting.

"And this one's called F*cker.

What? I froze, thinking I must have misheard that. Oh no. I didn't mishear.

"Come on F*cker!" said Tom the Playmobil man. "Where are you F*cker, keep up!"

I literally did not know what to do. Two thoughts occured to me: first, she plainly didn't know what the word meant, because she thought it was just another name. Second, she was pronouncing it with a definite Northern 'u' sound, so she didn't hear it from me. Ha! Absolved of responsibility.

In the end, like the coward I am, I just ignored it and the game soon moved on. But oh, please Flea, don't play that game with Grandma, she'll never let me hear the end of it.


Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She’s also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world’s coolest ten year old.

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  1. 21st October 2009 / 10:15 am

    Hmm, you don’t really want to have to explain WHY they shouldn’t say it do you? During an artefact handling session with 11 year olds at school once, I overheard a kid saying “that one looks like a dildo”. I went a bit mental “how DARE you” etc, only for him to sheeplishly look at me and ask “what IS a dildo?”. I quickly muttered “never mind” and walked off sharpish. I think he thought it was a word like “thingy” or “whatsit”.

  2. Aingeal
    21st October 2009 / 10:41 am

    Ooops, I’m dreading Little Miss A coming out with a word. It’s bound to happen and I’m so scared lol

  3. Liz (LivingwithKids)
    21st October 2009 / 11:19 am

    Sure she hasn’t been watching any Ben Stiller movies lately? You know, maybe she’s saying ‘Focker’?
    When No 1 son was very small he was out with his father (who thinks he’s an F1 driver). They were stuck in traffic and Dad let out an expletive along the lines of ‘Slapping A***holes’. (No, I don’t know what it means either. He’s from New Zealand.)
    A few days later my little boy was playing with his cars. I guess there was some heavy traffic, because next thing, he ‘Sucking a***holes.’
    My ears.

  4. 21st October 2009 / 3:06 pm

    How funny! I clearly remember my little sister scolding her teddy and telling it to “Sit up, you bugger!” – my genteel mother was traumatised for about a week. But it was in the early 1950’s…..
    I don’t remember my own son’s first profanity – there have been so-o-o-o many since. None of which he learned from me, naturally.

  5. Mandy
    21st October 2009 / 4:33 pm

    In our household we used to say the dog was bugging us for a walk or a biscuit. One day when his dad wanted a biscuit, our preschooler came out with “he’s a right bugger isn’t he?”.
    We just looked at each other in horror but then realised he hadn’t heard the word before. He had just leapt to the grammatically correct suffix…but we did warn preschool.

  6. 21st October 2009 / 6:34 pm

    Yikes! I think you did the right thing – deny all knowledge. Kind of adds an interesting element to and otherwise harmless game of Playmobil though! I never knew those little people could provoke such strong reactions!

  7. 21st October 2009 / 8:12 pm

    Very funny. I’m not against profanities like British people are (they’re not as much of an issue here, much like alcohol). I was very happy that my son could write a “k” yesterday, though. I could finally teach him to write “kakkepis”, which is a very childish swearword over here, and means exactly what you think it means. It’s doing wonders for him practising his k’s.

  8. 21st October 2009 / 8:19 pm

    brilliant. yes, lying is a good option. the other day Daisy dropped her baby (before you all scream for social services, this is in fact her doll), and said “bugger!”
    i stared at her in horror and then said quickly, “oh, yes, bother!” she looked at me, unsure which was right, so now every time i do something remotely wrong I say “Bother” very loudly. she’s caught on and is none the wiser. have no idea what i’ll say when she says f**k! or any of the other wors i think i say under my breath, but manage to squeeze out in full volume on occassion.

  9. 21st October 2009 / 8:52 pm

    I’m crying with laughter here – that’s very funny. Got right to my tickle bone. I love the way children try out words to see how they fit – obvioulsy this is not best encouraged in front of granny though!

  10. 21st October 2009 / 9:54 pm

    So hold on then, where did she pick it up from then? Don’t tell me it’s that new school of hers??!

  11. Sally
    21st October 2009 / 11:50 pm

    @Kath – oh no! That’s too funny. But I’ll remember that for next time…
    @Aingeal – well, let’s hope Miss A makes it a good one 😉
    @Liz – no, it was a proper Northern “fooker” although if she says it again, I might lie and say we’ve been watching The Fockers.
    @Rachel – naturally 😉
    @Mandy – brilliant, sounds like a smart kid!
    @Mwa – I read something about profanity somewhere the other day that was saying there’s nothing wrong in using the full pallette of language, but if profanity is ALL you know it’s a problem. I like that perspective.
    @Mummy Mania – aah, that’s quite cunning!
    @Tattie – Yes, I’m just praying to the karma Gods it won’t reappear at the wrong moment.
    @Maternal Tales – I presume her cousin, another 4 year old, but a little boy. Either that, or some kids from school, who knows? But to be fair, it’s a lucky escape for me as I was genuinely worried she’d heard me last week in hte car when an errant “OH for F@CK’S sake” slipped out during the school run.

  12. 22nd October 2009 / 9:13 am

    Haha! That made me chuckle.
    My F has a habit of making names up (not real names, just made up words) for characters in books, and she once named one of them this very same thing! Luckily it was a one off and a genuine ‘mistake’ that she happened to choose that word.

  13. Sweet Ickle
    22nd October 2009 / 1:14 pm

    Hahaha! V. funny & shamefully so, my whirlwind 2 year old dropped her drink the other morning. I didn’t make a fuss & just started to clean up. She put her hand on my shoulder, shook her head & said “These bl**dy smoothies”! Gulp. She’s staying with Grandma this weekend… double gulp!

  14. 22nd October 2009 / 3:47 pm

    How funny! I love the fact that you froze. My little guy told me his friend had punched him because he’d said the F word. I too froze, and waited. Thankfully he added “I don’t even know what the F word is”. Phew!

  15. 22nd October 2009 / 10:05 pm

    Pronounced with a northern accent. Oh dear. She’s obviously been talking to my daughter who overheard the teenage lads on the school bus recently. I completely ignored it too. That’s the best way, I think.

  16. Alybean
    22nd October 2009 / 11:39 pm

    Hilarious! Made me and hubby chuckle.My oldest, when he was 3 called me a “bally bitch” bally being toddler speak for bloody.I did tell him off.He was playing alot with the little boy down stairs who was a year younger and I told his mum.She just laughed it off as that’s what she called her daughter!

  17. 23rd October 2009 / 9:40 am

    Hilarious. Reminded me of the glares I got whilst out with my three year old nephew once. I bent down to tie his shoe laces and heard him exclaim “For f***s sake.” Disastrous!

  18. Insomniac Mummy
    23rd October 2009 / 7:34 pm

    Hehehee! I am definitely not looking forward the the appearence of the F word in Big E’s vocabulary!
    My then 2 year old niece once slid down a slide and shouted ‘F*cking hell’ at the top of her voice. It was an exclamation if glee and no one knew where she’d got it from.

  19. 23rd October 2009 / 6:59 pm

    Very funny!

  20. 25th October 2009 / 4:32 pm

    Hahaha 😀 Where did she hear that then?! S keeps saying ‘bloody’ and unfortunately I know exactly where he got it from (not naming names…but my husband has a lot to answer for!)

  21. Janine Clements
    26th October 2009 / 9:37 pm

    When you ask my little girl (she’s just turned 2) what noise a duck makes, she says quack quack, of course. Or that’s what she thinks she says. What we (and everyone else) hears however sounds more like f*ck, f*ck as she she can’t say the ‘qua’ properly!